How employment and training agencies can help
A joint project of the OECD LEED Programme and the Labour Agency of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy)
Within the framework of the
Objective / Issues / Method / Outputs / Contact
This project seeked to enhance the contribution of labour market policy to the creation of more and better quality jobs. It assessed the effectiveness of employment policy and services to enhance competitiveness and employment outcomes by better matching skills supply to demand, improving training provision and addressing skills gaps but also improving skills utilisation by firms.
Issues to be addressed
The review examined how labour market policy contributes to a long-term strategy which can yield returns in terms of resilience of the local economy, skills levels and job quality.
The following four key themes were addressed throughout the study:
- Better aligning policies: At a time of budget deficits, policy silos and fragmented short-term policy interventions become luxuries that our economies can no longer afford. Producing better policy alignment between actors responsible for employment, economic development and skills at the local level, as well as working in partnership with private and other non-state stakeholders, will be important for both achieving better job outcomes, and also maintaining or reducing current levels of public expenditure.
- Building quality jobs and career progression: It is important that tomorrow’s workforce is equipped with high-level generic skills, so that individuals can transfer between sectors, and innovate in response to changing markets. This requires strong investment in flexible systems of ‘life-long learning’ so that people can build their skills throughout their lives. However in many localities both the public and private sectors are operating at a low level of productivity, offering poor quality jobs to local people while the local economy risks becoming uncompetitive. Employment agencies can also play an important role in helping firms to better utilise their workforce, and to provide career progression for lower-skilled workers.
- Targeting policies to new employment areas: Anticipating future areas of growth should be a key focus for local employment and skill strategies. Facilitating the transition to a greener economy is one way to contribute to sustainable job creation. At the same time jobs in other industries (especially those that are high carbon-producing) will be lost, and effective transition routes will need to be planned between old and new style jobs, with a strong focus on skills upgrading. In the context of demographic change, the opportunities emerging in the „silver‟ labour market also need to be explored.
- Reducing inequality and disadvantages in the labour market: Certain groups are affected more than others by the economic downturn, and many have been facing long-term obstacles that have preceded the crisis. Local strategies are needed to get the young into stable jobs, and support their progression and support the inclusion of multi-generational disadvantaged groups (particularly ethnic minorities and aboriginal groups).
The review was conducted through the application the OECD LEED methodology developed for its projects series on: “Local job creation: how employment and training agencies can help”. In particular the review was developed in three main stages:
Data analysis on key challenges for local labour market policy in the recovery and mapping of key local data against an OECD statistical model which seeks to assess the balance between the supply and demand for skills and labour at local level.
Policy review against the four themes, and application of Local Job Creation readiness dashboard, against an agreed international OECD index, to measure the effectiveness to contribute to local sustainable job creation along four key themes:
1. Degree of policy alignment and integration including capacity to work in partnership with non-state actors.
2. Capacity to both upskill local people and influence the development of better quality jobs and better avenues for employment progression.
3. Policy readiness to target policy to new growth areas.
4. Inclusiveness including opportunities for youth.
Preparation of a diagnostic report and action plan, with key recommendations and policy options.
Read the full project methodology.
The review resulted in an OECD Report containing an analysis of the strengths and critical issues related to policies and practices for the labour market and job creation in the autonomous Province of Trento, selected international good practice initiatives and learning models, recommendations and policy options to overcome barriers and realise potentials, presented in form of a concrete action plan.
The report was formally presented in Trento on 27 November 2012.
For further information about the project please contact Emma Clarence at the OECD Secretariat.
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